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5 Graffiti Artists We Think You Need To Know About

POSTEDBYJAMES UNDERWOOD

Whatever your feelings are towards graffiti, it cannot be denied that there is a time and a place for society’s most rebellious act. Spoiling the look of a war memorial or a listed building is just not cool, but there is a fine line between true graffiti and downright vandalism.
There’s a plethora of well-known graffiti artists out there these days, and if I mentioned them all you might be here for quite some time. So I’m going to shrink the list down to just five. Let’s jump right in:

1. Banksy
If you’ve not heard of Banksy, then… Okay, you must have heard of Banksy. This guy is a legend amongst the artists in the shadows. He has made his mark in many different places around the world including London, New Orleans, Los Angeles and, of course, his hometown of Bristol. Some of his most famous works include such paintings as ‘Maid in London,’ ‘Sperm Alarm’ and ‘Rage, Flower Thrower.’ One of his most amusing pieces of art, despite its connotations, is ‘Mild Mild West,’ which depicts a teddy bear throwing a Molotov cocktail at some riot police. I mean, come on… that’s just awesome (in a rebellious sort of way).
Banksy isn’t just a graffiti artist; he’s a political activist and has dabbled in filmmaking. He is the ultimate multi-tasker.

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2. Invader
Whilst Banksy is possibly the most well-known of graffiti artist at the moment, I’d be so bold as to say that Invader is the most interesting. He prefers the use of ceramic tiles and mosaics instead of spray cans or paint. His theme is centred around retro video games like Pacman and Space Invaders –the latter of which is the inspiration for his rather appropriate pseudonym– and his works can be found in 33 countries around the globe. Each of his works of art are referred to as ‘invasions’ of the cities in which they’re situated, and in many cases they’re considered blessings. What this Parisian is also well-known for is his use of the style ‘Rubikcubism,’ which, as its name suggests, involves the use of Rubik cubes. In short, images are created by using the cubes as building blocks (Nintendo’s mascot Mario looks especially cool using this method). It is unclear as to who created Rubikcubism, but Invader is certainly one of its most prominent champions.
Now is that awesome, or is it awesome?

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3. Mr Brainwash
It’s true that abilities run in the family. It’s all about the genes these days and Mr Brainwash just happens to be the cousin of our favourite champion of cubes and pixels, Invader. Like Banksy, Mr Brainwash has been known for dabbling in filmmaking alongside his terrific escapades into graffiti, and among some of his most famous works is the design of the cover for Madonna’s album ‘Celebration’ in 2009. In that same year Mr Brainwash opened a show in New York; he created a gallery at an abandoned warehouse and his exhibition, so-named ‘Life is Beautiful: Icons,’ covered thousands of square feet of space. It featured a portrait of Jim Morrison made from broken vinyl’s which sold for $100,000.
It’s safe to say Mr Brainwash is rather rad.

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4. Darco
German graffiti artist Darco seems to be a little more ‘traditional’ than the other artists in this list, in that his works of art resemble more what your run of the mill street artist cooks up, what with the colourful and stylish lettering he employs. He first became active in the year 1984 when he blessed Paris with his first artistic piece, and has since been credited for influencing many aspiring graffiti artists around the globe with his distinct style. Although he occasionally draws cartoon figures (and fantastic ones at that), Darco appears to be primarily faithful to ‘graffiti-writing,’ and rightly so… he’s damn good at it.
If you want an example, check out his work ‘Gor.’ It’s exquisite.

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5. David Choe
Mr Choe is a world class graphic designer as well as a graffiti artist, and it really shows when you consider who he has worked for. He’s produced cover art for Jay Z and Linkin Park, and provided artwork for the sets of Juno and The Glass House, which makes David Choe a great example of a graffiti artist making his mark on two extremely unforgiving industries.Additionally, despite his dislike for the franchise, Choe also worked on murals at two different office sites for Facebook, which were commissioned by Mark Zuckerberg himself (though he chose to have shares in stocks instead of taking cash).
Now that is cool.

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It’s safe to say that the above rebels should always be regarded as artists and not vandals, because what they produce is certainly art, and anyone who says otherwise is just uncool.

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